Posts Tagged ‘intimacy’

I Don’t Read Your Blog

August 8, 2016

“I want to know you through getting to know you, I want to have first experiences with you.”

I was so utterly and honestly compelled to write about this that I can’t even explain how important that is to me.

This is something I hear too much.

“Oh, I know, I read your blog.”

Well.

You don’t know.

I mean.

You do.

There’s a lot I put out here, there’s a lot of me, there’s this now, this experience of sitting in a tiny cabin with two other women in my school cohort.

Oh.

And tiny aside.

The triple is not a bigger room.

It’s the same size as the other rooms except it has a bunk bed in addition to the regular size bed.

Basically they shoved two beds into the space of one and called it a triple.

I was dismayed when I first saw the room and felt a bit claustrophobic and how the fuck am I going to handle this and where am I going to go to have some privacy?

And.

Fuck.

Like that.

Intimacy.

Into me you see.

I don’t want you to see me, I want you to see a perfectly crafted me, the woman who gets up two and half hours before she has to go anywhere so that I eat breakfast and pray and read and have my morning me time.

But.

Also the woman who paints her face and does her hair and sticks glitter everywhere.

I mean.

That perfumed lady is special and  is me.

But she’s not all me and I don’t want you to see me without the glitz and the glam, to see me in old faded yoga pants and a sleep shirt that has pink skulls and flowers on it.

I don’t sleep in pajamas, I sleep in the nude, so a week of being in a cabin room and having to wear pajamas to bed.

Oh my god.

Dying.

Yet.

I know, in a big way, in a small way, in all ways that it is important for me to let people in, to let myself be seen, warts and all, saggy upper arms and all, sans the glitter, or the lipgloss, with my hair messy and my heart out on my sleeve.

Literally and figuratively.

And there’s not a lot my room mates aren’t going to see of me in the next few days.

Eight to be exact.

Seven nights.

Eight days.

All of me just hanging out.

So to hear that my dear friend wants to actually experience me, to get to know me, to love me, in person, up front in real rather than behind the scenes, or the screen, person to person.

Of course.

I’m not exactly present at the moment, typing away on my little laptop, digesting my day, letting go, moving forward, not knowing exactly what this next week is going to be like, or the next few weeks for that matter.

I’ll be living out of suitcases and bags and traveling with work and you now, that thing in the desert.

Don’t put nothing in unless you feel it.”

Yes.

Nina Simone.

Break it down baby.

I feel like dancing.

I feel like being in a club.

I feel like round back chairs and oval wood tables.

I feel like smokey hazy air and warm breath and sultry nights and slow dancing.

Fantasy.

But a nice fantasy to have in my heart.

My little burning heart all lit up with vulnerability and lights, carnival lights the fairground, the tilt-a-whirl, the up and down of the carousel horse, the golden bridle a shine of paint faded from sticky cotton candy hands and the brass ring.

Right there.

It is all so right there for me right now.

I can’t touch it.

But it is all right there.

Just there.

I am not exactly on the other side of the window, not exactly a wallflower on the wall, but not quite there, not quite on the dance floor yet.

I can feel it in my body, this urge to break out in dance, to move to surrender to that urge to just go.

To go where?

I don’t quite know yet.

Perhaps it’s a metaphor, a place that’s not a place, a coming back around to.

The deer, a doe,  head up and alert in the shadow of the tree.

The fawn a tender outline against the bright light flittering though the green and brown edges leaves of the old growth oak trees.

An outline of senses and thoughts and emotions.

A swirl of thought and love.

I am glad my friend doesn’t read my blog.

I am also glad that you do.

I miss you too my friend.

When the press of the stars is heavy in the sky, heaving with the sentient knowledge of god and the abundant nature of the celestial, the movement of the spheres a song that I catch faint and gossamer in the shell of my ear.

Poetry cut from the green hearts of apples.

The robin on the wire in the garden.

The moon a sail, a sloop, a causeway of honey on the midnight blue cast of the horizon.

And I here.

In this little bed.

In this little room.

I think of you.

Starlight pressed in my bosom.

Isn’t it a pity, isn’t a shame, how we break each other’s hearts and cause each other pain.  How we take each other’s love, isn’t it a pity.”

The time is not my time.

The heart, though it longs, is just a reverent watcher.

The mind, rabid burns with a morbid chastity that I cannot witness.

The applicable beauty that surrounds both.

To bring them both together, to not bring my mind to heel, to not break my heart, except to break it open, to feel more love.

To give back to go forth.

To be naked before you.

I am not so good at that.

But.

Tonight.

I will try.

In this small moment.

I won’t explain myself.

I won’t say how much I want to cry.

I won’t say how much I want to laugh.

I want to cradle you in my bosom and bright your life my words.

Love.

Love.

Full.

Replete.

“The beauty that surrounds us and we don’t see it, isn’t it a pity.”

Please.

Hold my hand.

Walk the woods with me.

And see.

How beautiful.

So very beautiful.

You are to me.

 

 

 

 

Faith Is The Wheelbarrow

January 31, 2016

That carries hope across the high wire.

This is how I see it, I explained to her over coffee at Tart to Tart.

It was good to see her, it’s been a few weeks.

Plenty of check ins, but no face to face meetings and it was nice to be held accountable, to show up, to be an adult.

I’m adult’ing all over the place.

Who’s done with her reading?

Me.

That’s who.

Well, almost done.

I still have my Ethics and Family Law class to finish, but in the last week, culminating in today, I have read ALL of my readings for my next set of classes for Psychodynamics, Multi-Cultural Counseling and the Family, and The Clinical Relationship.

I just finished a little while ago and to celebrate turned on some music–I can’t read with music in the background, even pleasure reading (unless I’m in a cafe, then somehow I am able to drown out the noise, and interestingly, I am doing it right now, I like to listen to music when I am blogging–never when I writing my morning pages, but almost always when I do my blog.  The brain is a fascinating thing.) becomes too much with music playing.

I also opened up my Fantastic Cities coloring book that a dear friend and ladybug gave me a few weeks ago.

I did some coloring and it felt good; I’m exploring it as a meditative spiritual practice.

Some preparation for my Applied Spirituality class proposal.

The proposal is due the 5th of this upcoming month.

Which sounds like all the time in the world, but is actually next Friday and since the weekends is when I do my writing for school (weekdays I read before work, which is how i am done with the majority of my reading, a consistent effort to read a half hour to an hour before work every day, plus the morning pages and my morning routine, you could say I have a job to do before I do my job.) I want to have it done tomorrow.

The proposal is something I can work on when I meet up to study with my friend.

I am excited to see her and also give a little tour of the neighborhood, despite living in San Francisco for a little bit now, she has not see the Outer Sunset.

We’re going to meet up after lunch.

I figure she’s got to have a tour of the house, it feels vulnerable and scary and wonderful all at the same time to show someone my home.

I feel it’s quite a reflection of myself and a look into my secret, well, not so secret, I do so often wear it on my sleeve, heart.

It’s the epicenter of my personality that’s for sure.

My room always has been.

My sister told me once that she used to sneak into my room when we were in high school and she would lay on my bed and look at my stuff.

I wonder what she saw.

I feel like my home is warm and inviting, like me, and sweet, like me.

Ha.

I know how that sounds.

But that is what my person called me today.

Sweet and warm.

I don’t believe I have ever heard her use those words to describe me and I felt tears pooling in my eyes when she said it.

I had just finished reading her my list of what God is.

(EVERYTHING)

Here is the list, with a few things edited for the sake of anonymity, that divine spiritual principal that is at the center of everything I am and do:

-Love

-Light, sunshine, warmth

-Apples

-Restful sleep

-The Ocean

-The smell of jasmine at night

-Daisies

-Summer time, sundresses, wearing my hair down long

-Poetry

-Burning Man

-Shadrach

-Being held, holding someone’s hand

-Plum trees blooming in spring

-Art, museums, getting art high

-Paris, travel, gardens, cafes

-Recovery, service

-Coffee, friends, tea, tattoos

-Having curly hair, beauty

-Fun, pinball, coloring

-Self-care, hot showers, walks on the beach

-Kissing, romantic love, good sex

-The smell of sweat

-Salt on my food

-My scooter, my bicycle

-Perspective

-Stickers, collage, art magazines

-Photography

-Blue skies

-Surrender, letting go, forgiveness

-School, reading, flexibility

-Serendipity, getting out of the way, being taken care of

-Family, school friends, children I have nannied

-Bunny rabbits

-Writing, blogging, morning pages

-Music and dancing

-More and more and more love

-Good pens and Claire Fontaine notebooks

It was a good list to make and reminds me of others I have done.

“What a sweet, warm, beautiful list, there are so many women I work with who wouldn’t be able to see what you see, how freeing it is, there’s that too, that sense of freedom, joy, you have it,” she leaned toward me, “the feel of paper under your hand, is that what you said?”

Yes, it is indeed what I said and she knew the notebooks I was talking about and how I wish I had gotten a couple more while I was in Paris.

“They sell them at Flax!” She exclaimed.

They do, although not the same kind that I like, they also have an online shop and that may be where I indulge myself a little when I get my tax return.

But, I digress.

Warm and sweet.

I’m now describing my tea.

Haha.

Perhaps that is why, I’m full of hot tea, spicy, sweet tea.

Or.

Maybe, I’ve just kept showing up and doing the work and letting myself be seen more and more, even when I resist, even when I thought, but did not act, about canceling on my school friend.  Instead, I shared my crazy and told my person.

“Oh, she said that to you?” My person said, “well, she sees you–the real you, that’s what you’re afraid of.”

Yup.

As desperately as I want to be seen, and believe me, I do, I do, I do.

I also get scared by the thought of intimacy, of being seen into, of being vulnerable, I don’t want to be hurt.

But if I sequester myself I won’t get to continue to enjoy the benefits that being open hearted and vulnerable have brought me.

And I like those benefits.

They are so good.

Freedom from the bondage of self being just one of many.

So tomorrow.

I show up, which should not really be all that hard since my friend is coming to me, and I show myself for who I am and I let another person in.

I am grateful for this ever widening circle of friends.

Love.

And.

Life.

It is all so damn good.

I mean.

Really.

REALLY.

Good.

Bulldoze My Heart

October 13, 2015

Ugh.

Sometimes meeting your person means don’t wear the eyeliner.

Although it was not as messy as I feared when I got home and wiped down my face.

“Girl, you can’t just achievement bulldoze your way through all your feelings.”

Well damn it man, I”m gonna try.

It doesn’t serve me very well and when I was induced to sit down and have a full hour check in I just about passed out from relief.

“We are not reading tonight,” he took one look at me, “sit down, check in, that’s all we’re going to do.”

And he took the book off the table and put it back in his bag.

I got my check in.

I can’t remember the last time I just got an hour to talk all about me.

Of course there were tears.

There usually are when things are not going the way I planned.

Funny thing that.

Plans.

Sometimes I don’t even know I have them and then, bang!

Plans.

And disappointment.

And assessing.

And realizing.

All is good.

I just had an angle on things, thought I had things “figured” out, and well, I don’t.

It’s ok.

It’s how it is and it just means continuing to keep the focus on me, what I need, how I need to be in this world and when I obviously need to slow down, sit down, pray, meditate, take it easy, and relax.

Relax.

Bah.

What is that?

I have sonnets to write.

(Only two left!  I wrote another this morning and I am really happy how it came out, although, for a minute it was like pulling teeth.  Then I found the right word for the rhyme scheme and it flowed delicious and easy.)

Text books to read.

Thanks.

But screw the relaxing.

“Since I have been working with you, you’ve been on this achievement track, and although it serves to a certain point, it’s not serving you now.”

God damn it man.

I looked over the table at him and the tears leaked out of the sides of my eyes.

“I’m afraid if I stop I’ll die,” I whispered.

It’s true.

I’m like a shark, I have to be in constant motion or I’ll sink.

There is no one to catch me.

That’s a fallacy, but it’s where the brain goes.

I do have a net.

I do have a community.

I have nothing to be in fear of.

Slight anxiety about getting all the reading done for the next weekend of classes, not withstanding, I don’t have much to be worried about.

My rent is paid.

I just paid my phone bill.

I am in graduate school.

My job is stable and in fact, I’ll have a couple of extra hours on the next paycheck–which is nice since it negates the small one I got last Friday (every third one is going to be smaller I remind myself, they are shorter weeks when I am in school and I navigated that reality yesterday when I did my spending plan for October.  Grateful that there is an extra week in October for getting a paycheck, that will help lots).

I have lots of friends.

I even have a friend who I was dating who is now a friend again.

Le sigh.

We had a great, sweet, open-hearted conversation last night and it’s back to being non-physically intimate.

At least for right now.

Which is fine.

It’s what has to happen and I have no expectations of when or if or whatever it will happen again.

He is a dear man, he is my friend, I don’t see him being less in my life, just not physically available.

I have a wonderful friend.

So lucky to be loving you, my friend, so lucky.

Relationships are amazing, communication is extraordinary, and I feel lucky to have had so many great friends in my life.

I checked in with one of them today and we had a really good catch up, I so wish she was in the city, but like so many of my friends, she’s been priced out of living in San Francisco.

I’m lucky to still be here.

Now I just need to learn, yet again, how to relax and enjoy it.

So lucky that I don’t have to navigate my own brain by myself, I get so lost in all the dishonesty and crazy that my brain shovels out.

I got a lot of perspective this evening and when I was told to go home and take it easy, I decided to do just that.

I lit my candles, I put some Chet Baker on the stereo.

Why is it that a soft brush on the top of drum kit can soothe me so fast, the cool moan of a coronet, or the fingering of the ivories makes me just mellow out?

I do not know where or how I came to appreciate jazz, but my God, I am so glad I did.

Next up, perhaps some Art Tatum.

Jazz piano.

Yum.

I digress.

I had my feels about my friend.

I had my feels about my job.

It was a little weird today, the schedule thrown off with the holiday, but the boys were so, so, so sweet with me, and goofy and happy to see me and I them.

I got the best good night hugs tonight too, so much goodness.

We also got outside this afternoon and went hiking with mom and the pup up around McClaren Park.

It’s been years since i have been to McClaren.

It’s just off my radar, not really a good park to bicycle to, at least not on a one speed.

But I realized I hadn’t been to McClaren since I had house sat for an old friend who used to live by the park, 8 years ago.

So strange to realize there are parts of this city that I have not been to in that long, or really, to be honest, parts of the city that I have never been to at all.  I’m still often a tourist in my own city.

Thirteen years in and still grateful to be living here.

A decade of doing the deal.

Eight years of serenity, mostly.

And a few doing that other thing I do as well, no sugar, no flour.

When I take them out and lay them on the table and see the history of my life and my recovery I am overwhelmed with what I have.

My heart opens and it’s in the opening that I realize, once again, how much emotion is there and how sometimes just feeling all of them is overwhelming.

No wonder I want to go fast.

No wonder I feel constant need to strive.

The busier I am, the less I will feel, and the more I think I am in control.

But.

As is evidenced in my daily day-to-day.

I have no control.

I am powerless over everything.

And.

Everyone.

Surrender.

That’s the best I can do.

And perhaps a little more sitting still.

Just a little.

Melting Pot

September 16, 2015

Yes.

There is that too.

That melting into another person, that kind of intimacy that is indicative of the idea of “into me you see.”

I am thinking of big green meadow eyes and a hug.

A long, lingering, could be uncomfortable, if I were serving up hugs at the Hug Deli at Burning Man, kind of hug.

But is not uncomfortable, no, is rather delicious and melting and luscious.

I have two more days of waiting for said hug.

“How was your Burning Man?” I have been asked that many a time since I returned.

I have told folks it was my best yet, aside from my first one, which really did blow my mind–and was also the most challenging as I was there with my best friends ashes and had just gone through one of the most harrowing months of my life watching him die and being there for our community the best way I could.

“Your first year was amazing, I was there!” My friend said to me tonight as we were riding our bicycles home on the WIggle.

The nice thing about a changing work schedule is doing the deal in places and rooms I don’t normally go and seeing faces I don’t normally see.

I hadn’t seen this friend in over a year and it was so nice to sit next to him and get caught up and my excitement at getting to ride home with him was great.

He was my mentor on the AidsLifeCycle ride as well, so riding with him had special significance.

I realized I hadn’t been on a bike ride with him in five years!

I remember well how I cried after my first training ride, it was three miles I think, perhaps five, but really no more than that–hell I ride more than that to get to work everyday, I don’t even think about it anymore–and I just could not imagine how the fuck I was going to ride 545 miles.

“You’re not going to ride them all tomorrow,” he told me and patted my arm and got me a bottle of water.

He was always there to pat me on the back or cajole me up and over the next big hill.

And there were so many damn big hills.

But I made them.

I got up and over and when the time came to do the ride, I rode every last mile.

Even with saddle sores.

Saddle sores are no picnic, let me tell you, and I rode with saddle sores the last three days of the event.

Yuck.

I digress.

But I did fill my friend in on all the details of the burn and why it was my best since my first one.

Partially since I did not work that much.

I actually went to Burning Man.

I went dancing.

I saw friends.

I spent a fair amount of time at AV, a village a lot of friends camped at.

I did a lot of the deal.

And.

I met him.

You know.

That guy.

The dreamy one I spent three and a half days with consecutively.

Yeah.

That guy.

He’s a peach that one.

I get to see him this week.

The day has been set.

Or I should say, the evening.

We’re meeting on a school night and I don’t care.

Sometimes you just got to do the things that are a little taboo, I mean I’m not breaking some huge personal rule, I’m just going to have a sleep over on a school night.

I’m looking forward to the companionship.

I am looking forward to the play.

But I really am looking forward to the connection.

We have a connection and we both know it and its been acknowledged and we both are doing our own thing.

Adult like.

I won’t deny there is some salient school girl crush thing happening.

But really.

When I look at the underlying text of the document, there is more to it than that.

“Am I just going to be that girl you met at Burning Man,” I teased as we eased our way back into the default world.

“You could label it that, I suppose, but you know that’s not the truth,” he said and turned, brushing the side of my face with his hand.

Yes.

I do know that’s not the full story.

And.

The thing is.

I don’t even know what the full story is.

I suspect that we are both going to show up and be our best selves and maybe it takes a minute to get back there, to the dust and the honesty, and that place where I am vulnerable and not worried about what I am wearing and what music should I play and how does my house look.

“I really like that I got to see where you live, it’s so you,” he said as I came out of the bathroom to my studio.

I like that he saw it too.

I like that when people have visited me here, they have all said the same thing, how much my place reminds them of me and how lovely it is to be in it.

“You have a party going on at your place all the time,” a dear friend of mine said when he described my place.

It’s true.

It’s a party.

I like to have my music on.

I like my candles lit.

I like the good smells and the good sounds and I like that where ever I look there is something beautiful to rest my eyes on.

Speaking of which, maybe this is the weekend I finally get the DIebenkorn print up on the wall, it breaks my heart leaning against the table.

I need to go get my Marilyn print from my trip to LA framed as well.

Art.

God.

How I do love thee.

Let me surround myself in it, swim in it, wallow in it, drown in it.

Thank God I am an artist.

“You are so much more than just a nanny,” my friend told me sternly in the car.

He had given me a ride to Safeway to do a big grocery shop, so needed after my busy on the go self neglected to do any last week and was also dropping me off at work so I wouldn’t have to push it on my bicycle.

I was telling him about how I have been asked to provide some poetry for a fellow artist who wants to present something at the Burning Man ARTumnal event.

I wonder if I should ask for a ticket, or two, I might have a gentleman I would like to bring with me, to the event.

And it was with some chagrin that I realize, yes, I do down play that part of me.

Or.

I assume that the only reason a man might want to be with me.

Well.

It’s more than just a cuddle, right.

But no.

There is more.

“I’m most excited about looking into your eyes silently and getting one of those melty hugs.”

Really?

Me too.

Really.

And maybe some sex on the side.

But yeah.

The silent song of staring into someone’s eyes who I have connection with.

That is where the good stuff is.

All the things.

All the good, sweet, juicy things.

In fact.

All the best things.

There’s Carmen!

July 17, 2015

“I just wanted to let you know that’s been me hollering at you on the way to work,” she said with a laugh and patted me on the arm.

“I see you all the time and you wave, but I don’t think you know who is yelling at you,” her eyes twinkled and I laughed.

“That was you!”  I smiled, “I was wondering who’s been giving me the hello’s.”

It’s nice to be seen.

I’ve been thinking about that a lot recently.

Allowing myself to be seen.

“You have to know that whatever happens, you meet the love of your life at Burning Man,” I pushed my friend’s shoulder, “no, I mean it, that whatever happens, this is important.”

And it is.

And there was a lot more said, but I am not comfortable relaying all that here.

Suffice to say.

I am being seen.

And as for meeting the love of my life at Burning Man.

I already did.

It’s me.

I stopped Calling in the One when I realized that I was the Beloved and that I was the love of my life and no one will love me as hard or as well as I love me.

That being said, it’s a constant practice, a constant, not struggle, it’s not a struggle any more, it used to be; rather a concerted and continuous work of being kind to myself, taking care of myself, loving myself.

Letting myself express myself and be who I am.

I am many things and as I learn to be continually open to vulnerability and emotional connection in the very real and the very present time, I get to see how deep the damage has been in my life.

And.

How far I have come.

I mean.

Really.

I have made amazing strides in my life and to not acknowledge that is a kind of affront to the work I have put in.

It is not all work though.

I must have some fun in the mix.

For instance.

I had two unexpected cancellations for this Saturday.

I have to get some fun in my Saturday.

I do still have plans, I’m helping a friend with some stuff, but I have extra time on my hands to find a little fun for me.

Whatever that looks like.

Some fellowship, some cards, some pinball, a museum jaunt.

I would love to see the Turner exhibit at the DeYoung.

I keep hearing great things about it and I have not been to the DeYoung in a while.

I do have things I need to attend to, book gathering, loan deferment paperwork, cooking, et al, the stuff and routine of life.

A mani and pedi.

The small pleasures that I allow myself to have are important to the quality of my life.

Framing the Marilyn print from the MOCA and hanging the Diebenkorn up in my room.

I am negotiating a ride out to Cheap Pete’s in the Inner Richmond to get that together.

I’m navigating other rides too.

It does indeed look like I will get to have a little more summer vacation before the work, the study, the balancing act of what my life is going to look like come school start, begins.

I am currently in the planning stages of going to the Grand Canyon.

I have never been and I am over the moon excited.

My friend and I would leave on a Tuesday, July 28th and head to the North Rim and a secret special spot for camping that a friend of his knows about that is not heavily touristed.

There has been talk of Monumental Valley and Bryce Canyon as well.

To tell you the truth.

I know nothing.

I really have no conception of what is out there and what it looks like and what I exactly want to see.

Except.

I want a road trip.

I love the open road, I love seeing new things, I love the vista from the car seat, I love watching the sky scroll by, I love singing along to songs on the radio, I love putting my feet, bare feet, up on the console of the car and scrunching up in my seat and being just simply free, happy and content, and I love telling stories on the road.

There is just something so soothing and satisfying about it.

Plus camping?

Please.

Bring it on.

Campfires underneath the stars, country, out of the city for a while, back roads, which I suppose we won’t actually do if we are going to get in what my friend has suggested, there’s also been talk of Death Valley and maybe squeaking in the top part of Yosemite, not going into the valley itself but driving along Tioga Road.

Again.

No clue.

No conception.

I suppose I could google some images, but open road, is well, open road.

And I love me a road trip.

Plus, more time with my friend before the onslaught of school.

More being seen.

More being myself.

More allowing abundance and joy and fun and flexibility into my life.

“Joy of living is my principle today,” I said into the phone and smiled at the imprint of flower blossoms, pink and fat and truculent against the sky blue sky.

It might have been because I got a ride to work and that’s a treat.

It could have been that the weather was kind and sunny and inviting and I do so much better in the sun than out of the sun.

It could be that tomorrow is Friday.

Whatever it was I was going to enjoy it, to keep enjoying it and be as present as possible every inch of the way.

Even when it was hard.

“Hit Carmen! Hit Carmen!” The oldest brother instigated his brother in a game of, well, I can’t tell you what the game was, it was high energy though, and when I went to pick up the three-year old for our outing to the park I got hit, hard, in the face, brought to tears, this kid does not know his own strength.

“You,” I said to the five-year old, “to your room, five minutes, no talking.”

I pointed to the door and he fled.

I picked up the three-year old I had abruptly set down on the bed.

I looked at him.

He looked at me.

We saw each other.

His eyes got wide and teary.

“Please, please, please, don’t hit me,” I said to him.

Then I paused.

I could see he was about to get pretty upset and I wanted to be stern, but not too stern.

I wanted him to see me, to know that I was hurt.

I also knew that he would probably forget, as he did in about five minutes, and I would get smacked again (he’s in a phase, but I think it’s passing), but for the moment, in the moment we connected.

He saw me.

“I’m sorry Carmen, what can I do to make it better?”

Oh.

Out of the mouths of babes.

“I could use a hug, sweet pie.”

He gave me a hug and burrowed into my arms, then off we went on our adventure.

The grandparents accompanied us to the park for one last outing before they left on the plane today.

There was much digging of sand and pouring of buckets and shovels flying and dump trucks dumping and when that became mundane, there was grandma to push the swing.

And.

One sweet five-year old boy.

“Carmen,” he said plopping down next to me on the cement wall, “I just want to sit next to you and eat grapes.”

He leaned into me.

“I love you too much.”

Oh.

My heart.

Little pie.

I love you too.

I love hard.

I live hard.

I try hard not to be seen.

Yet.

There I am.

Being seen and allowing myself the freedom to be exactly who I am in the exact moment of whatever is happening.

It is an amazing gift.

Astounding.

This love.

Bright.

Sweet.

Tender.

All encompassing.

All the love.

All the things.

Connection

March 23, 2015

That is what I crave.

I was thinking about that today as I walked along the beach.

I had just gotten off the phone with my little sister.

She may be 40, but she’s still my little sister.

I had been thinking about her and I realized, you know, why not give a call?

We had a half hour conversation and without me even realizing it I had walked from the Judah entrance on Ocean Beach to Sloat.

It was a nice walk back.

One in which I ran into a couple other people I knew.

We exchanged hugs and pleasantries, then parted.

Father and daughter walking the beach at low tide.

Before I had even made it down to the beach I ran into a fellow walking up Judah to Trouble.  He and his friend had just been down at the beach as well.

“Neighbor!” He smiled and we hugged.

It’s nice to be known.

It’s nice to be seen.

And with these thoughts in my mind I signed out of OKCupid tonight.

I have not eradicated my profile, but I am offline with it for a while.

“I realized,” I said to her while explaining my experience, strength, and hope, hopefully, “that I long for someone to travel with, to have adventures with, to go to Burning Man with.”

Which for me, means traveling, having adventures, and going to Burning Man.

I love to travel and I love adventures and I am down for camping in the heat and dust, as long as there’s loads of love and light and art, please, oh pretty please, give me some art.

I want to live as full and rich a life as possible.

And though a good part of that life is documented here, not all of it is and when I find myself not connecting on OkCupid, or Tinder, or Hinge, when the emoticon becomes the template for my communication with another human being, it’s time to scale back.

I don’t care for texting.

It’s emotional shorthand.

It’s cave man communication.

And it’s too easy to read all sorts of things into it.

I want to actually talk on the phone, I know that’s even becoming outmoded in the land of looking at our phone screens.

Sometimes I wonder if folks are going to actually stop using their phones and just text and facetime and spout emoji’s on one another.

I need contact.

I need touch.

I need to hear the emotions in a person’s voice.

I am not saying I am lonely.

Far from it.

I am fabulous company.

I spent my afternoon after doing the deal with a lady at the kitchen table, cooking homemade chili, and hanging in the back yard, watching the ravens swoop and the cats lazy, prowl the roof tops for the warmest patch of sun.

I looked at the yellow flowers in the weeds and marveled at the wild geranium, soft lilac with splotches of deep red and violet on its petals, careen toward the sun.

I closed my eyes and turned my face toward the sun as well.

Don’t worry I had my 45 sunblock slathered on.

I, like a cat, love the warmth of the sun though.

I drank sparkling water and ate large kale salads.

I read a Vanity Fair.

I read my book.

I made some phone calls and left some messages.

I thought about connection and how I want to connect with the world.

I thought about dating and realized that the action is to not pursue.

Rather to be pursued.

I like being courted.

I need to let that happen.

I reflected on the best parts of my time with my ex boyfriend and realized that it was all before we had sex.

The feeling of holding hands, sitting next to one another, the building up of emotions.

That I want to have more of.

I am not saying sex is off the table.

I am saying, though, that when I am at my absolute rock bottom honest, I want more and that more has to do with emotional intimacy.

I’m not trying to figure anything out.

I’m not sick of dating.

I am, however, sick of trying to figure it out.

Thus.

I say I stop.

I signed out of OkCupid and I don’t know when or if I will sign back in.

I want to be signed into my life.

“I’m really glad you’re getting your knees checked out,” my dear friend told me yesterday as we wandered around Alcatraz.

Holding hands, at that!

I think about some of the nicest hand holding and it’s been with her and my best friend back in Wisconsin.

Whom I am contemplating going to see and when that might fit into my busy life.

Christmas?

I know, it’s March.

But after having just sent my employers my official time off requests for going to Chula Vista to see my grandmother, then the time for my graduate school retreat, and the week of Burning Man, I realized I may not have time to do any other travel until late fall/winter.

And I’m not even including when I go to Atlanta in July–I don’t have to ask off for that time, it’s 4th of July weekend, so I’m off already.

My friend continued, holding my hand as the crowds pushed ahead of us, “you should do couples dancing, I think you would have fun and meet people.”

That sounds nice.

Meeting people in person.

Engaging face to face.

Human being to human being.

Maybe I’m old-fashioned and I should really re-think staying on all the sites and things and doings.

But.

Despite wanting All The Things.

I don’t believe that I will find them there.

I am more than a sound bite.

Hell, I am more than this blog.

How could I expect anyone to get a grasp of me via a text or a tweet or a post?

I want to get to know you.

Face to face.

Not facebook to facebook.

I know you’re out there.

I am ready when you are.

Let’s go explore this great big amazing world together.

Hand in hand.

 

He Walks Away

January 18, 2015

The sun goes down.

He takes the day.

But I am grown.

My tears dry on their own.

And like that.

I am single again.

The man and I ended it last night.

Nine weeks to the day of our first date.

It felt longer.

I dare say because I was so present for so much of it.

Oh.

There were things, issues, stuff, the stuff of life, the things that happen, the shut down, me, I can shut down.  I can get silent, I can step away and my heart can break even when I know that there is no going backwards only forwards into that deep unknown of intimacy.

Into me you see.

Yes.

That.

When I am not being my self than I am not allowing for intimacy and boy have I learned a lot about myself over these past few months.

Again, really, it was just two months.

Jam packed months, my father’s accident, the trip to Anchorage and back, my birthday, Christmas, Thanksgiving, New Years, my sobriety anniversary.

I knew on my anniversary that it was over.

I knew last Friday that it was probably over after we had our get right with God conversation about what we both wanted from the relationship.

I am not going to focus on what he said to me, because that is not for your eyes, just for my heart and the confidence of a few close friends and mentors.

And thank God I made plans to be out dancing and celebrating my anniversary.

I was surrounded by people who love and care for me and told me how much they did and I was deeply moved, to tears, a number of times by the outpouring of love from my friends.

I am so lucky to have these relationships in my life.

I cannot help grieve that which is passing, I’m on the verge of crying right now, the grief it is very much there, sitting on top of my throat, heavy on my heart, but I know that I can walk through it and come out strong, more valuable and tempered, like steel in fire.

I have become that much more realized.

For having realized what I need in a romantic relationship.

Hell.

In all my relationships.

And that relationships, romantic or otherwise, take work.

Gobs and gobs and gobs of work.

It is easier to be single, I found out.

To do what I want, when I want, regardless of anyone else, to have my own agenda, to be safe, to be in a cocoon, to rest and take my leisure.

I want, however, to be in a relationship and I am going to keep dating.

I am not putting my heart up on a shelf to grow old and dusty and insensate with time.

Nope.

I mean, I’m not going to go re-open my OkCupid profile and I’m not going to Tinder and I am not going to go scroll through Face Book and find that special someone tonight.

My heart, she is sweet and needs to have a moment or two to let the man go.

Move aside and let the man go through, let the man go through.

To let go of the fantasy too.

He’s a perfect man.

I am a perfect woman.

And the relationship was exactly what it was supposed to be.

I can still have grief around it and sorrow and have feelings.

But I don’t want to wallow.

I don’t want to not put it right back out to the Universe.

Hey God, who do you want me to date, please show me and help me to move toward the man who you want me to be with.

A-fucking-men.

I didn’t know if I was going to write about it tonight after getting my dancing on with my friends at Public Works, which, in case you were wondering, was fantastic.

It started a little slow, but the groove was great and the Fleetwood Mac remixes and disco beat with a little Northern Stomp and Detroit four on the floor, was a delight to get my hips moving.

I needed that.

I needed that bad.

Sometimes a girl has to dance.

Sometimes a girl has to cry.

I’ll do that too.

I did a bit today, it would come and go in waves.

The sun on my face as I sat and ate lunch at an open table in the cafe and suddenly my eyes start leaking.

Or when I showed up to see my girlfriends at Firewood Cafe.

I dreaded going.

I dreaded walking up the hill in the Castro to the restaurant, I did not want to tell them, although I had already told my three best girls, that the relationship was over.

Done.

Kaput.

No more.

Although he wants to be friends.

And that’s a possibility, a good likelihood, not now, I don’t think now is the time, we both need space.

In fact we agreed to no contact for 90 days.

Which is actually longer than we dated, but felt right when we were discussing it.

And as I mentioned, the conversation, that’s private, but the actions taken, the sincerity of the speech, the honesty, the showing the fuck up and wo (man’ing) up, the being brave and walking through, not doing it over the phone or in a text, but person to person and with integrity.

That was an amazing experience.

Painful?

Fuck yes.

Jesus.

Please.

Bring me the box of tissue ok.

But honest, sincere, right-minded, real, I am blown away by how we both walked through it with the best of intentions and the most honesty that I have ever had in a break up.

I am extraordinarily grateful for that.

I sort of wanted to pat my teary self on the back for doing it and being open and allowing myself to be exactly there and me.

Well.

There was some self-deprecating humor on my part on one point, but really the levity was there and we parted ways clean.

It all feels very grown up and real.

Tiring too.

I am going to sleep better tonight I think; I hope.

It was hard to go to sleep last night and harder to stay in bed, I just got up and got moving.

I suspect I am going to have to sit in some feelings and not check out.

Just sit and feel them.

Let them pass through me and over me.

And when they go I will turn, stronger, face forward, and walk on.

Toward the man I am supposed to be with.

And when I meet him.

I will be ready.

The Cat’s Out of the Bag

November 24, 2014

Well.

Maybe not.

However, I suppose, after I write this blog it will be.

So, yeah, um.

Remember that post I wrote a little while back about getting my dating on?

Which one?

Oh lord, I know, there are a lot of them, I have been trying, mostly half-heartedly, if the truth be told, for years it would seem to be in the dating game.

A few small victories, mostly of the inner personal, reflective type scenarios, a lover, a few dates with men who I grew to appreciate their company or perhaps a night or two of their passion, but nothing really concrete or real for some time.

Then.

Inventory.

Writing.

More writing.

More surrender.

More asking and listening and taking action.

Then I started trying different things.

And I won’t say that it was easy.

None of this has been easy.

Except.

Well.

Except when it was.

When it fell right into place, when I couldn’t fuck it up or manipulate it into happening, when it was simple and direct and obvious.

It wasn’t, hey I really think you’re hot and I want to get with you, but I’m not really available, or hey, let’s have sex, and maybe I’ll think about dating you, we’ve been friends for a while, maybe this could work.

It wasn’t the surprise booty call or a manipulated I would like to hang out with you in an ambiguous way that might be or might not be a date because I am too afraid to say what I want.

It was clear.

Clear cut.

Obvious.

And there he was.

He’s been there all along.

Doing his own thing, leaving me be, but noticing and when the time was right, and it was right, it all just fell like packaged dominoes in a green leather case onto the table.

All chips down.

All in.

Yup.

That’s right folks.

I have a boyfriend.

Eek a mouse.

I just got tingles all over my body.

So, should you have been wondering, where the blog has been, well, now you know.

I was getting further acquainted with the new man in my life.

“You have to ask  yourself,” my friend said to me on the phone as I took the N-Judah up to Duboce Triangle (a messy commute on the weekends since the city has been working on the tunnel for the N-Judah between Cole Valley and Duboce park–nothing says good times like weekend tourists trying to question everyone on the bus as to why it’s not stopping), “what is your reason for blogging every day.”

I had called him to get some clarity.

The truth is that although I have missed the writing (I’m still writing morning pages, although I will admit, they too have been a bit short and spotty and not as many pages I would normally do, I have been, um, busy you know), I have found that I want to invest in the relationship and be spending time with this man.

Especially now, in the beginning, when everything is fresh and bedazzled and sparkly and glowing.

When music means extra special things and the air seems to kiss your face and what are you doing kissing a man in the aisle at Safeway?

I mean, who does PDA in Safeway?

I do apparently.

I don’t hang out at Safeway, but we were grabbing groceries and there you go, smitten kitten is going in for a little canoodle in front of the fabric softener sheets.

There are boundaries though.

I have spent some time ruminating, not thinking, not obsessing, just feeling out what my feelings are regarding this blog, what I do, what the purpose is, has the exercise in posting a day run its course, where do I go now, what do I write about, how does this relationship impact what I write and how I am here in this forum?

“Did you write your blog,” the boyfriend asked with a raised eyebrow the other night.

I made a snappy, sassy retort about where does the time go, but no, I had not written it.

I have been sacrificing it to the time monster to eke out whatever spare minute I can with my man.

I remember writing a blog about what the exercise of trying to have a date every week would lead me to–a sort of romantic/comedy B list movie starring Drew Barrymore in a holiday inspired romp–“A Boyfriend By Christmas.”

You know, the misadventures of being a woman of a certain age in a city, say, oh San Francisco, which already has a unique set of dating challenges, while she tries to find her man by the holidays.

Well, you could knock me over with a feather.

I really did not believe it would culminate this fast.

Forget boyfriend by Christmas.

Mama got boyfriend by Thanksgiving.

We’re spending it together.

Not sure what we’re doing yet, neither of us have family in town and Honey had to revoke his invitation to do an orphan Thanksgiving at his house as he was tapped to help St. Anthony’s Food Kitchen make and serve the holiday meal to the homeless downtown.

But we will be spending it together as we both have it off.

Ditto other holiday events and parties.

I’m going to his work holiday party as his date and ordered a ridiculously cute dress off ModCloth for it.

I can’t remember the last time I bought a holiday dress for a holiday work party.

There aren’t usually work holiday parties for nannies.

Anyway, I digress.

Boundaries, that’s where I was and here’s where I am at.

This is it for blogging about him.

No naming, details, height or weight or color of his eyes (such lovely eyes), no feelings to discuss, no conversations to report back on, no, nope, and not anyone else business.

Just mine.

Just his.

The cat may be out of the bag but I have no desire to talk about said cats stripes or polka dots or whiskers, this is all for me.

To enjoy and let it open and grow and happen.

And that’s all.

That’s it.

What the blog is going to be about is just further self-reflection and my misadventures there of.

I am sure I will find things to write about.

It just won’t be this certain man.

Who though, the cat’s pajamas, will remain boxed up in a compartment in my heart tucked away for only me to see.

Which is how it is supposed to be.

Quiet.

Sweet.

Personal.

Intimate.

Discrete.

Not always attributes I have in spades.

But principles to strive for and towards.

Hand and hand with my new man.

Trudging this road of happy destiny.

 

 

Wide Awake

November 1, 2014

I knew I was going into dangerous territory and I did it anyway.

I had an energy drink.

I cannot recall the last time I had one, granted it was sugar-free, I am still rocking that no sugar thing, but it was highly caffeinated.

More so than I have been in some time and I should be in bed, should be sleeping, should be making out, should be doing something.

However, I have been dropped off and left to my own devices.

Which is fine.

Strange.

Not exactly how I thought tonight would end, but not uncomfortable, just curious.

Things don’t have to go the way I think they should or might for them to be exactly perfect.

Tonight was exactly perfect.

Meaning everything happened for a reason.

Everything didn’t happen for a reason.

There was some awkwardness tonight on the date, and it could have been any number of reasons, being out in a large group of people, it’s Halloween, we are seeing each other for the third time in one week, expectations, who knows.

There was a lack of connection, a wall went up, and I wondered, what did I do wrong?

Then I realized, what ever is happening, or again, not quite happening, almost, but the reservation, the distraction, it wasn’t something I was doing, it was just what it was.

Life.

Dating.

Humanity.

It was quiet.

It was restrained.

There was a space, and better, better described, there was a space between, although, again, the drawing in, that weakening at times.

I actually wished we were alone to just keep being around one another.

I felt awkward and I realize that a lot of that had to do with the venue, a big dance party with a lot of people is challenging, and we are new at being around one another.

I also recognized something tonight that I was already doing without realizing it, not taking action around dating in general, more than one person, I was told to get out there with a bunch of guys.

Not mess around so much, but date more than one person.

It’s been a one person week.

And maybe that’s too much focus on one man.

Although I cannot fathom kissing anyone else.

Riding home tonight there was a lot of silence.

I didn’t feel uncomfortable with it, curious, but not so much so that I felt I needed to plumb some psychological depths, not my place, not my desire.

Quiet time, a quiet moment, can be just as loud as a brisk conversation, much can be said.

I felt finally drawn in as we drifted down Lincoln Ave, hand in hand, my head on his shoulder, watching the sky flash by, the tree tops, the bottoms of the clouds glazed with light from the street lamps, a scrap of cloud, the moon smothered behind low clouds dropping into the horizon.

There is a magnetism I feel with this man, and also a push a way, a step back, a pausing that I was standing still for, waiting to see what would happen.

I want more.

I need more time.

Time to sit.

Time to hold hands.

I already know I want to sleep with him, that I don’t feel is the question, it’s the space between.

The languor in my skin and the tightening of muscles in my arms, the electric pull, where there are no thoughts or doubts, just connection.

And if there is not space for that, then there shouldn’t be space for anything further.

I should pause.

Let the room breathe, let myself breathe, move easy, thick, honey slow, open up, see what is unfolding, make no judgements or myself, my process, of the learning that is happening.

“You go on dates to learn,” he told me. “Not about him, but about you.”

What have I learned?

That this thing is hard.

That being drawn to someone is real and illusive all at the same time.

Raw and intimate.

And then distant and distracted.

I cannot know another’s thoughts or desires and I am learning what mine are.

I want to be wanted.

I can see that.

I want to be beautiful and desired.

What woman does not?

I want to be with a partner.

I don’t want to write that.

It feels like a jinx.

But that’s what I went into the bathroom to pray for, direction, guidance, how to show up for him and be of service to the situation.

I wasn’t sure I even needed to pee when I went to the bathroom, but I felt confused and needed to just take a moment and breathe and sit quietly and ask for direction.

How do I show up and be myself and not push for something more than is available?

How do I bring without taking or expecting.

I surrender.

I had a wonderful date.

It really was good.

Don’t let me fool you into thinking that I didn’t have an awesome time.

It was just different from I expected and that’s ok.

I don’t need to figure it out.

I danced.

I laughed.

I had some wonderful food and saw friends that I don’t get to see very often.

I held hands and kissed a man I am deeply attracted to.

There was more silence than I expected, but that doesn’t mean things weren’t communicated.

Things were.

I understand.

And there is nowhere to go, no conclusion to have, no outcome to be forced.

I spent time with someone I like, at the end of the day, at the end of the song when there is just the final note fading off, a reverberation of feeling, my head on his shoulder, holding hands, driving down Lincoln Avenue with the wash of deep indigo sky and the ragged black of eucalyptus trees swaying in the air blowing by.

There was intimacy.

Touch.

Contact.

And that is rare.

Uncommon.

Fine.

I don’t need to ask for more than that.

Even when I wanted more kisses at the end of the night.

There is something to be said for leaving wanting more.

And I have a feeling.

More will be revealed.

It usually is.

 

Made It

July 26, 2014

Although a few times in the early part of the evening after hiking around Masonic Ave, I didn’t think I was going to.

The ankle was a talking and the walking was going slower and slower.

I ran into a concerned friend at the intersection of Waller and Masonic, “are you ok, do you need a ride?”

So sweet.

“I just watched you cross the street and you look like you are having trouble,” he continued when I shook off the offer.

“I am meeting some one, I will be ok, it just snuck up on me.”

And it had, although snuck, perhaps is not the correct word, I could feel it coming around 2:30 p.m. when I was getting tired and the thought of taking the boys to music class was now no longer a fun idea, but a chore.

A chore compounded by the fact that one of the boys tossed his brand new straw fedora hat overboard.

I had no idea where it was and had to curtail my trip through the Pan Handle Park to turn back around and find it.

Brand new hat.

Gone.

And the wind had started to pick up.

I got mad.

I began envisioning the bowing and scraping I was going to have to do and the hat replacement.  He’s a boisterous one and he doesn’t always like to wear the hats, they often go sailing.  I usually retrieve them pretty quick, but I wasn’t on my game and didn’t notice.

To cut myself a tiny modicum of slack, the double wide stroller is hard to see around and there are quite a few times that things get tossed and I have that prickling feeling that something went overboard.

I have lost one hat to this and the mom was cool, then another and I felt bad about it and replaced it out of my own pocket and I just about threw my own tantrum when I realized that here it was another day of having to replace a hat and boy, I don’t freaking feel like it.

I turned the stroller around and began the walk back.

I am still stunned that I found it.

I realized that the hat was gone when we had reached the playground, it had been tossed over five blocks back.  I found it at Cole and Page.

Thank God.

It really was not a big deal, but it indicated to me I was a little off my game.

I was tired.

I had not felt tired going into work.

In fact, I felt exhilarated, alive, awake and ready to take on the day.

I had a good a night and despite not wanting to stay up late, stay up late I did, but it was worth it and it was awful nice to be held.

I love sex.

Who doesn’t?

But a good cuddle after, being tightly held, lying with someone and falling asleep on them, oof, now that is satisfying.

I have had some amazing lovers, but I have not always had amazing sleep over companions.  It is beyond yummy to have both and the latter feels like an additional, unexpected gift to be given.

“I can go, you know, if you need to get some undisturbed sleep,” he said after.

“No, stay, I want you to stay,” I said and he pulled me in, tucked me under his chin and held me tight, I really fell asleep, lights still on, candles still lit.

Lights still on.

I haven’t mentioned that, but perhaps I should.

I love being in a place with my body and myself as a sexual person where I am ok with the lights on.

I am flawed, believe you me, this body has seen some things and done some things and some of the things that I have done to my body have not been kind.

I strive to be as nice to this beautiful body I have been given to walk around in as much as I can.  And I am ok having sex with the lights on.

At least with this partner.

I also like that when I told him when I was getting up and I waffled for a minute not wanting to admit that part of my early rising was so that I could do some morning reading and prayer and writing.

“I could skip the writing,” I said looking at the 6:30 a.m. alarm I was setting, I paused thinking, but I don’t want to.

He interrupted my thought before I could get it fully articulated, “no, don’t skip your morning routine, do your writing.”

And I did.

I woke up at 6:29 a.m.

One minute before the alarm was to sound, took a hot quick shower, dressed, made breakfast, got my hair dried and made coffee.

I did my bend down to the knee and get right with God.

And it was fucking awesome.

Yes, I said God and prayer and sex all in the same blog.

Get over it.

Then I had my oatmeal with banana and raw cocoa and cinnamon, nutmeg, and sea salt and fresh strawberries from the Farmers Market at Stanyan and Waller, drank a big cup of Stumptown Holler Mountain, and had a half hour to write.

Of course I was jazzed when I showed up at work.

But the jazziness wore off and I was tired and cranky and the ankle sore.

I made it, though.

I had to slow down.

But I made it.

I took it easy in music class and the room was hot, so the energy level was low for the boys and I wasn’t stressed and then it was time to go and it was ok, alright, I am almost through the day, through the week, and yes, I didn’t get as much sleep as I wanted, but I did get a lot of insight and a little knookie, and some good catch up time with a darling lady shortly thereafter the hobble along Masonic Avenue.

“Next time we get together, let’s make it a day I can sleep in the next ok?” I said with a smile this morning as he awoke and dressed and I finished up my three pages long hand.

Always a negotiation.

This human thing.

Being intimate is not the act itself, but how I am before and after.

Always the learning.

Always.

Which is better, in case you were wondering.

With overnight snuggling.


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